View Full Version : Looking for a chef type all purpose japanese knife below $100

06-14-2013, 10:22 AM
I am looking for an all purpose knife for below $100 usd or so for uses at home. I was going to go with a Wusthof Ikon classic but I have read that Japanese knives is sharper and holds an edge longer which is two things I really want in a knife. I'd like for it to be at least rust resistant. I do like Santoku but I'm open to knife around 7". I live in the US.

I am currently interested in the Tojiro DP 7" santoku which only cost $60.

06-14-2013, 10:57 AM
If you're right-handed, have a look at the Fujiwara FKH and FKM series with JCK. I would go for the carbon 240mm Fujiwara gyuto.
If you insist on a santoku, the Hiromoto AS 190mm would be a great choice.
By the way, how do you sharpen?

06-14-2013, 11:17 AM
right now I'm just using a handheld sharpener. I would love to be able to use it along with a honing steel for these Japanese knives. I read that some knives are only sharp on one edge which might be an issue.

06-14-2013, 11:33 AM
Don't even think about getting a Japanese knife if you're not willing to learn stone sharpening. Any other sharpening method will ruin your blade within seconds.
The blades we're discussing here - gyuto, santoku - are double-bevelled. There are single-bevelled Japanese knives as well, these are highly specialized, though.

06-14-2013, 11:42 AM
I'm willing to learn stone sharpening but right now I'm really looking to try out a budget Japanese knife first. Hopefully a decent stone wouldn't cost too much.

06-14-2013, 01:17 PM
The conventional wisdom is that a good knife is a good start, but it's going to need to be sharpened at some point. You can pay to have it professionally sharpened (if the person actually knows what they're doing), but something like an edgepro, or use stones and learn. But staying sharp is an integral part of the process.

06-14-2013, 01:38 PM
What knife do you currently have? Is the $100 including a stone? Remember, it doesn't matter what kind of knife you own, a dull knife is a dull knife and if you don't have an efficient way to sharpen it, it wont matter if if is a $1000 knife or a dollar store special.

I was in a similar situation as yourself, and the advice that I received is, get an inexpensive stone and knife, maybe a Bester 1200 $50 and a Fujiwara 240mm Gyuto (haven't used myself, but constantly hear it is great bang for the buck) at $83. Puts you at $133 plus shipping. Not sure if that is within your budget.

Remember that is only my opinion, do what you want. Good Luck


06-14-2013, 08:56 PM
I would highly recommend a Fujiwara FKH, I love mine!

06-14-2013, 09:01 PM
I would highly recommend a Fujiwara FKH, I love mine!+1. This is the best deal on a budget knife worth having. I've given away several to very happy owners. Having handled/owed several of each, I'd say Tojiro is a decent choice but FKH is better.

06-14-2013, 09:13 PM
I kinda like the stainless on the FKM. I wouldn't want it to rust as the knife is used by my entire family. Is the FKH a lot better ?

06-14-2013, 09:15 PM
The phrase "a lot better" is hard to quantify. I know if I had multiple people who I knew didn't respect knives the way I do, I would buy a stainless knife.

06-14-2013, 09:38 PM
Expect a much finer edge because of the absence of large carbides, and a much easier sharpening.

06-14-2013, 11:56 PM
The FKM is plenty good, too. I'd sharpen it a little coarser then the FKH. I found that the edge retention at high polish wasn't great. Both are easy to maintain, feel nice in hand and cut most food items quite well.

06-15-2013, 07:42 AM
FKM and FKH are both great choices. I'm with Tk on this one (not surprisingly); if you get the FKM, sharpen it on a 1k(ish) stone, like a King or Bester and you can further refine that with increasingly light stropping on the stone, followed by stropping on newsprint. You'll have plenty of tooth, but quite possibly one of the best food edges you'll ever need. If you get the FKH, the same would work, but you'll be tempted to use a 5 or 6k stone, because the carbon in the FKH takes and holds a finer polish than the stainless, while still having nice bite.

In all honesty, I think the edge that people fall in love with when they first try a Shun (they have an impressive, yet basic edge out of the box) is very much like what you'll get with a 1k, stropped on newsprint.